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Billy Graham Expected to Recover From Pneumonia

Evangelist Billy Graham is expected to recover from a case of pneumonia that has hospitalized him since Wednesday, though a date for his discharge has not been determined.

"He is responding well to antibiotic treatment and is in stable condition," Dr. Mark Hellreich, a pulmonologist treating Graham, said in a statement.

Graham was admitted to Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C. on Wednesday after complaining about a cough and slight fever. The symptoms were diagnosed as pneumonia shortly thereafter.

Hospital officials said Thursday that the 93-year-old evangelist has been in good spirits during his hospital stay, waving and smiling at hospital workers and patients. Graham underwent a full slate of medical tests throughout the afternoon.

This is the second time Graham has been hospitalized for pneumonia this year.

Graham’s pastor, the Rev. Don Wilton, made a visit to the hospital and led Graham in prayer and readings from the Bible, including St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Graham was also visited by his daughter who lives in the nearby town of Black Mountain, N.C.

The evangelist of more than six decades has faced health concerns in recent years. Aside from the two cases of pneumonia this year, Graham was hospitalized in 2008 after tripping over one of his dogs. He also elected to have a type of brain surgery that released fluid from the area that same year.

Graham is a survivor of prostate cancer and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks during that battle to relieve intestinal bleeding.

Recent age-related developments, like hearing loss and muscular degeneration, have kept Graham at home, though he says he would like to give one final sermon.

Through the 60 years of Graham’s evangelism, he has become arguably the most recognizable American Christian in the world. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is currently run by Graham’s son, Franklin.

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